Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Sunlight Greeting (500 words)

She woke up deliciously warm. Sleep fell away slowly, letting her down easy, and sunlight glowed behind her closed eyes. When she blinked them open, everything was flushed with yellow, edged in soft shadows. The window was closed, but she could still smell the ocean salt outside, locked in on the balmy air from yesterday. There was a faint citrus sharpness from somewhere she had yet to find. And she took a long breath in, pushed it back out, conscious, but thoughtless.

He breathed behind her.

Her back rested against his ribs. His arm laid flat beneath her neck. She listened to him, gently waking into the strange room.

The blankets had tangled somewhere near the foot of the bed, dragged themselves down to her waist. But he was there, close as the next moment. Even her finger tips were warm, wrapped over his arm beside her head.

They had fallen asleep facing each other – or, she had, at least – sharing the same pillow, but less entwined than they were now. His arm had been wrapped over her, and she held his other hand between them, but they had left each other room to shift and settle. They talked until they had worn out and smoothed over the awkwardness of sharing space they had always taken for their own.

She wasn’t sure how they had drifted together, so perfectly, in their sleep. Or how waking up could feel so simple after all the considerations of elbows and shoulders and spines the night before. She smiled. And tried to stay just as she was. She didn’t want to wake him, and she wasn’t entirely sure that she couldn’t still wake up herself.

But she shifted, moved away from him without meaning to, just to change the angle of her hip, her knee. Bones that, waking, rankled at being held still.

She heard his first breath that came out a little too strong, awake instead of buried under the weight of sleep. And he reached for her.

Rolling onto his side, he pulled her gently against his chest. Warmer still, she nestled herself back against him. His cheek scratched gently against her neck. His knees bent to echo the angles of her, to wrap himself around her more.

“Good morning,” he breathed, voice thick and low.

“Good morning,” she whispered back.

There was a small pause while he gathered another breath, maybe blinked into the light the way she had. Then,

“Wife,” he murmured, as if he were just finishing his first greeting.

She smiled. Bit her lip at the absurd thrill of the word, and loved it all the same. Tucked herself closer to him.

“Is it time to get up?” he asked.

The sun already seemed to have tipped higher in the sky, even since she had woken to it. She could hear people passing beneath the window. It was probably closer to noon than either of them wanted to know.

“No,” she told him, and purposefully shut her eyes.

I’m a thief! I stole the first line of this piece from my friend, Kate! Be sure to stop by her blog to read the original piece. Then take a peek at all the other thieves!

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